Why Everyone Should Travel

 As I prepare to head out of the country next week I’ve been thinking about why I travel. I’ve been a bit of a rolling stone most of my life, moving 10 times before I graduated high school and pursuing a career as a professional photographer which has taken me to over 100 countries.

Gail at the Great Pyramids 1971
Gail in Egypt 1971

I think if I ever had to give up traveling I would wither and my spirit would die.

Here are my top ten reasons that I think every American (and other citizens of the world) should travel:

  • It gives you a much better perspective on our world rather than just experiencing it virally. Let’s face it, when you are an armchair traveler, you are getting someone else’s perspective.
  •  It makes one grateful for what they have. Many, if not most Americans are very privileged but don’t really have an understanding of that because they isolate themselves in their own environment.
  • You get to be a true diplomat for your country. When I’m traveling I try to give people from other countries and cultures a more realistic idea what an American is beyond our government’s policies and how we are depicted in the movies.
  • It creates lasting memories of importance or at least memories that last longer than buying a consumer product.
  • It teaches you a lot about yourself. When you travel things don’t always go according to plan. You get to see how you handle stress in situations beyond your control.
  • You learn how to communicate. Many times you don’t understand the language and you learn to read body language and pick up people’s vibes.
  • You meet people you would never get to meet at home. It makes you less fearful when you get to meet people from other lands.
  • As a photographer my camera has given me access to incredible experiences that I have shared with the world.
  • You can affect change.
    Gail showing video to children of remote Amazon village, Peru
    Gail with children in small village along Amazon River, Peru

    When you travel you realize that regardless which country you come from we are all part of the human race. We all share this planet and we are all stewards of keeping it healthy.

  • It brings wonder to your life. I have had many awe- inspiring moments and not all of them were at typical tourist sites. Some of my greatest memories are the simple conversations that I’ve had with people all around the world.

Check out some of the images that I’ve captured from my journeys. www.kellymooney.com

Pick Up the Phone

Maybe because today is Father’s Day, I’m thinking about ties and connections and how much has been lost over the years in the way we have chosen to communicate with one another.

Pick up the phone and call

It’s an odd mix as far as behavior goes, in terms of how we communicate (or don’t), but regardless of whether we are communicating for business or personal – we seem to have lost the “personal” touch.

The memories I have of my Dad and others who are no longer here, are our conversations and just enjoying the dialog between the two of us.  These days, it seems as if people avoid one another – even when they are in the same room together.  There have been a few occasions over the last couple of months where I have been with a small group of friends and there has always been someone in the bunch – who is there in body – but not really –  because they are glued to their “device” and communicating with whomever isn’t there.

Call me “old” but I just don’t get that. I’ll always opt to have a conversation with someone face to face and my second choice is always  to have a conversation with him or her over the phone.  Why?  Because a phone conversation has interaction – in real time.  Emails can be exhausting with the back and forth banter and texting is even worse because of those little keys.  And of course when emails are ignored – there is no interaction – so what’s the point?

With all the options of how to communicate with everyone these days,  including all the social media forums, a personal connection is still the best way as far as I’m concerned.  Sure, you can’t take the time to talk to everyone on any given day, and I don’t.  But there are times, that I do want to connect with someone on an individual level – without blasting it out to the world on Facebook or Twitter and without it being a one sided conversation. And when it comes to business, nothing replaces the one on one face to face or a phone call.  That’s really the only way to emote your message and relay it in the manner it is meant to come across.

Today is Father’s Day.  If you have a Dad who is still in your life – pick up the phone and call him because I know it will make his day.  If my Dad were still alive, I would be making that call.  My only regrets are the times that I put those calls off.  But what I don’t remember is why I did it – the reasons couldn’t have been that important – but stupidly I rationalized they were at the time.

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